Cantinflas is the biopic of the much beloved Mexican comedian of the same name starring Óscar Jaenada as Cantinflas, with Magali Boysselle and Cassandra Ciangherotti. English-speaking audiences might recognize Cantinflas from the original Around the World in 80 Days movie (if you remember the remake, he played Jackie Chan’s role, Passepartout), but the Chaplin-esque talkative comedian starred in over 50 films, a few of which your grandfather might have thrown on the TV Sunday night after dinner.
Director Sebastian del Amo previously dug into the history of Mexican cinema with his first feature, El Fantástico Mundo de Juan Orol, a whimsical biopic on the life of Juan Orol, one of the leading figures in the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema (think of the ‘40s and ‘50s movies your abuela put on after abuelo went to bed). Del Amo clearly had fun with his previous project, extending the fantasy world of the movies into Orol’s life, but judging by the look of the Cantinflas trailer, it doesn’t look like the magic struck twice. Cantinflas is almost too reverent, telling the story of the great comedian with a straight face.
The Cantinflas trailer looks like it’s going after the Charlie Chaplin biography money, minus Robert Downey Jr. But Óscar Jaenada is up to the challenge of making audiences fall in love with Cantinflas, playing on Cantinflas’ physical background as a boxer and how he drew that into his comedy. Plus, they’re including Cantinflas’ real-life love story of a marriage that survives fame and fortune. Hopefully, the filmmakers are smoothing out the trailer’s rough spots before the movie comes out next month.
Like the underdog character he sometimes portrayed, we’re rooting for Cantinflas to make good.